ALBANEY – US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm will visit sites in the Capital Region on Friday that drive state and federal initiatives to modernize and decarbonize the country’s electrical infrastructure.
Stops include the Port of Albany, where a factory will be built to build towers for wind farms in the Atlantic Ocean; Hudson Valley Community College, where the Center for Advanced Manufacturing Skills trains future workers for current and future jobs; NY Independent System Operator, which runs power grids throughout the state; and GE Research in Niscuna, where General Electric scientists work on public and private sector projects to develop new technologies.
Granholm Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D.Y., and US Representative Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, whose district includes three stops, will join the tour.
GE Research has projects in a wide range of topics underway at any time, but Friday’s visit will focus on three that all involve reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere: carbon-capture technology, hybrid-electric flight and Superconducting generators for offshore wind farms.
The Biden-Harris administration is pressing to accelerate the rollout of energy sources that are both clean and affordable in an effort to increase jobs and fight climate change.
A White House fact sheet released Wednesday includes mention of the offshore wind tower construction project in the Port of Albany, which, with $29.5 million in federal funding, would create the first such construction facility in the nation and employ hundreds.
Also on Wednesday, NY Gov. Cathy Hochul, N.J. Gov. Phil Murphy and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced that the largest wind-power lease auction will be held on Feb. 23 for half a million acres in New York Bight – New Jersey and The area away from the long arc of the Long Island shoreline.
The six leases are believed to have the potential to generate 5.6 to 7 GW of electricity.
Along with all this, there will be a need for massive upgradation and expansion of the electric power transmission grid. The US Department of Energy addressed that Wednesday as well, launching the Building a Better Grid initiative.
This will be one of the topics addressed during Friday’s stop at the port of Albany, where wind towers will be fabricated at a rate of 150 per year and flown via barge into the Hudson River for placement in the Atlantic Ocean.
Tonko, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change, said in a news release:
“Transmission infrastructure is the backbone of a reliable, resilient and clean power system. Achieving our ambitious clean energy goals requires significant transmission investments.”
He said that investment faces many hurdles but building a better grid initiative will remove those hurdles.
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